Illahe Gruner Veltiiner Willamette Valley 2018
Illahe’s vineyard is on an 80-acre, south-facing slope first planted in 2001 with 22 acres of Pinot Noir. The vineyard now has a total of almost 60 acres, planted with seven varieties; Pinot Noir dominates, accounting for 50 of those acres. They use estate fruit from their family vineyard Glenn Creek, located near West Salem.
Illahe Vineyards is one of nine vineyards situated in the Mount Pisgah area. In this prime grape-growing region, the majority of the vineyard lies on marine sediments atop ancient siletz rock.
Illahe Vineyard is planted on a south-facing slope. The slope ranges from about four percent near the bottom, to over 20 percent near the top. Elevation ranges from 250 feet to 440 feet.
Illahe is a warm site that experiences slightly earlier budbreak and flowering than many vineyards in the Willamette Valley. The southerly aspect of the vineyard and the moderate elevation mean that grapes will achieve maturity even in cooler vintages. Moreover, the vineyard has excellent drainage (which is good for the vines) and because we catch the Van Duzer winds, the vineyard cools in the evening, pacing the maturation of the grapes.
The soils at Illahe give the wine complexity. Their overall characteristic is Willakenzie-type sedimentary clay – specifically Bellpine, Wellsdale, Dupee, with patches of volcanic Jory.
Grüner Veltliner has aromas of pear, fleshy peach, honeycomb, rice cracker, and straw. The palate continues with honeydew melon, guava, jojoba flower, fresh cut grass, coconut, and homemade marshmallow, with a classic white pepper finish. This Austrian grape takes up an acre and a half at Illahe (one of Oregon's largest plantings). Illahe got this clone from a Hungarian fighter pilot who defected to the west, bringing his love of Grüner with him to the United States.